San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Jen Huang Photography
Well, it's becoming more and more official you guys: We are heading to SF this summer! I've finally nailed down our hotel for the trip, and man, who knew that planning this trip would be so difficult. If you follow along with me on Instagram, then you saw this post from a few months ago announcing that Ryan and I were planning a road trip to San Francisco for my birthday. It's something that we've talked about doing for forever, going down to Canon Beach and seeing the famous Redwoods, and the brand spanking new Ford Explorer he bought back in December provided the perfect excuse to hit the road and take the scenic route down the 101. 

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Glitter & Gingham 
San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: SFGIRLBYBAY
Once we started (okay let's be real, once I started) planning out the road trip and researching hotels, we realized that the trip was going to get very expensive, very fast. As it turns out, hotels in San Francisco are ridiculously expensive. Like, an arm and a leg expensive. Not only is the nightly rate for hotels through the roof, especially in the summertime, but there are also crazy city taxes and fees that get tacked on and add an additional $100-$200 to your stay. (Note: Is anyone able to tell me what the resort fee even is and why SF has them??).

Now add on the costs related to the road trip, such as paying for gas (the price of which tends to go up in the summer), lodging for the half-way point in the drive down to SF itself, and meals and the whole thing was going to cost much more than we had originally anticipated. Bringing a car down to the city would also mean paying ridiculous overnight parking fees, typically in excess of $35/night. Given that Ryan and I are still recent college grads without much money saved up yet and still living on a budget, we have decided to nix the road trip this time around and simply fly down instead. This decision actually ends up being cheaper than all the costs related to taking our own car. Yay for living less than two hours from SF by plane!

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: SFGIRLBYBAY
In addition to opting to fly, changing the dates of our trip also helped us to save money. The difference in hotel prices from going down in mid-late July to the beginning of July was significant. We were originally looking at spending anywhere from $250-$400/night, but by changing our dates to the week of Independence Day I found lots of hotel deals (including at the Hilton, the Westin, and various boutique hotels) ranging from $160-$190/night. Lucky for us, Independence Day seems to make for a slow week for the hospitality industry given that no one is really traveling for work and that many people prefer to remain local and spend time with their families. Meaning really good rates for people like us who don't really do much for the 4th of July anyway! I'm all for seizing the opportunity.

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: SFGIRLBYBAY

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: RD's Obsessions
Now I know what a lot of you are probably thinking. It's great that you guys found a good hotel deal, but if you're trying to save some money then why not opt to stay in an Air BNB? After all, San Francisco is the birth place of the revolutionary home sharing platform, and there's definitely no shortage of affordable options. But the fact of the matter is that Ryan and I really don't travel very often. Maybe once a year we get out of town and go somewhere, and we don't really do any short weekend getaways either. So when we do travel, we like to do the whole vacation thing treat ourselves a little bit and feel, well, taken care of. I enjoy the little creature comforts like room service, plush pillows, free coffee, and curling up in crisp white linen sheets. What can I say?

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Museum Of Ice Cream / @katiegibbsphoto
For our stay, I ended up finding and booking Hotel Zelos. I was drawn to the historic facade of the building (built in 1907) as well as it's location in the SOMA District. The building's architect, Charles Whittlesey, compared the building's green and white facade to "a beautiful lady dressed in a stylish outfit." What's not to love about that? Not only does the hotel seem stylish and comfortable, but the location should be perfect for us given that we don't plan to bring a car. The BART, the Market Street trolley, Union Square, Chinatown, and the Museum of Modern Art are all within walking distance of the building. Plus I hear the drink menu at the hotel's in-house restaurant and lounge, Dirty Habit, contains a whole host of creative cocktails (yes, please!).

San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Hotel Zelos
San Francisco Travel Inspiration + Trip Update | Kayla Lynn
Photo: Blenheim Design
We are holding off for a little bit longer on buying our plane tickets since the price forecasting app I've been using, Hopper, currently predicts that our current flight dates will fluctuate between now and and beginning of June and should come down as much as another $30/ticket. If you've never heard of Hopper before I highly recommend downloading it and trying it out, especially if you have a trip coming up in the next couple of months or if you travel frequently. It's a free app that watches flights for you and provides a recommendation on when to purchase your tickets and when to hold off in order to get you the lowest rate. It's incredibly convenient for someone like me who tries to find ways to save a bit of money here and there, and helps to keep you from overpaying for plane tickets.

And that's where we are right now with our trip plans! We will be staying for four nights and I'm so excited to finally visit San Francisco. There will be so much for us to see and do, I haven't even really started planning our itinerary yet. Ryan and I are definitely those kind of people who need to come up with a plan for what we're doing ahead of time, otherwise we get a little stressed and overwhelmed and end up arguing with one another and no one needs that when they're on vacation, so any recommendations on where we should go, how to get around, and of course where to eat and get coffee would be much appreciated!

XOXO, Kayla

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